September 9, 2012
CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago Public Schools teachers went on strike for the fist time in a quarter century on Monday, after the latest contract talks broke down Sunday with no deal to avert a walkout.
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said late Sunday there had been some progress in contract talks, but “we have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike.”
The impasse left the city with the first teachers’ strike since 1987. The union had set a midnight deadline for a walkout. Negotiations are to resume on Monday at 10 a.m. at a secret location.
“We have come close on the financial package,” Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale said, adding this strike was avoidable. He said the issues appear to be over teacher evaluations and job security.
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Teachers began to picket at schools shortly before 6:30 a.m., and students and parents were left looking for alternatives. The Chicago Public School systems is opening about 140 schools for children from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.. However, no instruction will take place. In addition, churches, libraries and community organizations will be providing students with activities.
That is a worry for many parents.
“I have some concerns about who is going to be taking care of my kids, if the child to adult ratios will be too high,” Tiffany Williams told CBS 2′s Vince Gerasole.